Community rallies behind OCS teen after devastating crash
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A Ouachita Parish teen’s life has become one of tragedy and immense strength. In April, Evie Hilburn, a sophomore at Ouachita Christian School, was in a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) accident in Morehouse Parish. She suffered multiple injuries, including a spinal fracture, a broken shoulder, and serious lung damage. Right now, she cannot walk, and it’s too early to tell if she’ll walk again.
KNOE’s Alyssa Azzara met with Evie and her family at a hospital in Shreveport. Evie said she’s determined to push on, and the community is playing a big role in her optimistic outlook.
“I’ve never been in a situation like this, and you can almost feel the presence of people from home, you can feel the spirit and the love,” said Evie’s dad, Chris Hilburn.
The life-changing event accident happened on April 9, 2022.
“You never expect it. It’s crazy how fast things can happen but I haven’t, I love it here. I never thought I’d say that but the nurses and doctors are awesome. They take great care of me,” said Evie.
It was something both Evie and her family never thought would happen.
“You go through a state of shock, and I guess you would say trauma yourself. There are so many emotions it’s hard to put into words,” said Chris Hilburn.
After the accident, she was air-lifted to Ochsner LSU Shreveport from Morehouse General Hospital.
“We came in as a trauma case, flown in, and every day has been something new,” said Chris Hilburn.
At first, Evie was unable to talk, she suffered lung damage and had trouble breathing, so she communicated with a whiteboard. Now, she’s talking and upbeat, and her family said she is making great progress.
“A good attitude is the biggest role or else it will be miserable so I try to keep it fun and keep a good attitude,” said Evie.
Evie’s family, including her mother, father, stepfather, and stepmother, said they rely on the community and medical staff for support.
“One thing that’s really got us through is the people from home making constant communication but to get that text that says hey we’re thinking about you, I never realized how much that impacts a person,” said Chris Hilburn.
Evie has also formed a special bond with her entire care team, but especially with her nurse Joe.
“Those two, have bonded and cried together, it’s truly amazing to watch. It’s like Joe was sent to help her get through this journey,” said Chris Hilburn.
Fist-bumping is a part of their new budding relationship, which is a sign from Joe that everything is going to be okay.
In fact, the fist bumps of inspiration struck Lissy Compton.
“Fist bumps for Evie Lou came from the video we saw of her where it was like she’s going to be okay, and cause you saw her fist bump her nurse Joe and she was like funny,” said Compton.
Compton quickly got to work and designed a t-shirt for Evie, on the t-shirt says “fist bumps for Evie Lou.”
“Fist bumps are like you know, yeah! Fist bumps, you got this Evie, you’re going to be okay,” said Compton.
950 shirts have already been pre-sold and Compton said all the proceeds will go to help Evie in her journey.
“It’s an artist that took the time, that much time, to draw something that was so special to us, cause that video to us, those are the little things that get you through,” said Chris Hilburn.
“I wish I could just hug everybody but I can’t but the support, it’s been crazy, and I don’t think anyone realizes how much it affects me, but it really does help,” said Evie Hilburn.
Evie’s family said she’s expected to go to rehab soon. She has a long road ahead of her but Evie said she’s not giving up until she walks again.
You can purchase a t-shirt at https://www.mrpstees.com/.
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